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Interne Markt, Industrie, Ondernemerschap en Midden- en Kleinbedrijf
Perscommuniqué4 november 2020Directoraat-generaal Interne Markt, Industrie, Ondernemerschap en Midden- en Kleinbedrijf

Intelligent Cities Challenge: Mayor's summit and First City Lab

Participating ICC cities are eager to become the engines for the recovery of the economy, create new business opportunities and enhance their cities, industries, and SMEs' sustainability and resilience through the uptake of advanced technologies, re-skilling, and upskilling of the workforce.

A series of high-level events have served as a kick-off to the activities of the project. Starting with its First City Lab, which took place from 28 September 2020 to 02 October 2020, and continuing with the Mayor's Summit on 14 October 2020 as part of the European Week of Regions and Cities.

1st City Lab

With the participation of over 500 ICC City representatives and members of the public, the virtual launch event gave an overview of the European Commission's views on the future of cities and their role in building a green and digital recovery.

The interactive sessions also allowed the ICC Cities to find out more about the ICC methodology and its thematic tracks for the upcoming 2-year long journey. In addition, it helped the cities explore interesting solutions presented by ICC mentor cities and discover best practices to mobilise local public-private ecosystems.

You can find out more about each of the City Lab's daily activities below on the ICC website's pages.

Mayor's Summit

The Mayor's Summit gathered 130 mayors and deputy mayors committed to building greener, digital, and more resilient cities through ICC.

Dana Eleftheriadou, head of the Advanced Technologies Team at the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Christophe Rouillon, the Committee of the Region rapporteur for the Recovery and Resilience Facility, and mayor of Coulaines in France, opened the Summit. They emphasised the pivotal role participating cities play in driving the European Green Deal and the national recovery plans. By investing in technological innovations, cities can contribute to achieving the new EU's climate ambitions, such as reducing CO2 emissions by 55% by 2030 and achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

The event continued with keynotes from two mentor city deputy mayors (Marja Ruigrok, vice-mayor of the City of Haarlemmermeer in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area and Laia Bonet, deputy mayor of Barcelona), that showcased the leading role cities can play in the transformation of the local socio-economic systems to bolster green and sustainable growth.

The Mayors' Summit concluded with a thematic panel on the recovery plan. Mayors and deputy-mayors from various ICC cities, such as Gdansk, Pori, Thessaloniki, Leuven, Rijeka, Nice, Porto, discussed the role cities play in national recovery plans and how cities must engage different stakeholders and use advanced technologies to promote their industries and businesses' green and sustainable growth.

Closing the event, Dana Eleftheriadou emphasised that the green and digital transitions go hand-in-hand. Local governments, citizens, social economy actors, industry, and SMEs play a crucial role in the recovery plans because "there is no one recipe, every city is unique", and even though it is good to share best practices cities need to "stay focused on their own vision and plans."

Find out more about the discussions & follow the achievements of the participant cities on the Intelligent Cities Challenge website.

More information

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